my personal opinion:
BC > MoP = Wrath > Vanilla > Cata
TBC > MoP > Cata > Vanilla > WotLK
Lets face it, WotLK only really had Ulduar as a good raid, when counting in the length of the raid patches. T7 was crap with a rehashed Naxx, which got a lot of hate. T8 was good. T9 is considered by most to be the worst raid ever made, and T10, while the raid quality was decent, the length of the patch completely obliterated the good memories of it.
I really enjoyed the TBC raids, and the atmosphere around them. IMO they were some of the best raids in WoW. Obviously they'd be far too simple at this point to be considered hard, but for the time, I tihnk they were great.
i'm going to have to go with BC>Vanilla>MOP>Wrath>Cata
Bc was the best because it was the most challenging, to date it has the most challenging content, not just raiding but questing, progression, anything it was a real challenge, it was a step up from vanilla, vanilla at times felt a bit easy, right from the start BC was badass, and it continued all the way through, ending with sunwell
Wrath had 2 good raids, uldular and ICC, all the rest was just filler content, that lasted way to long, ICC was epic because its size, and how they gated it, once you finished it, and had to slog through it every week (for a year....) thats when things went south, which is why everyone says ICC sucked, but think of the moment you cleared it, and got to Lich King...it really was one of the best epic experiences in raiding of the expansion, especially heroic mode, and downing him DURING wrath, a feat that not many have aucutally done, even compared to newer raids bosses like Ra-Den recently
Lich King heroic > Ra-Den any day. (In epicness/lore/awesomeness)
For me the absolute best raid was The Eye, Kaelthas Sunstrider, that fight truly was brutal, taking several weeks (my guild took well over a month of attempts) and the last phase when he shatters the top half, that...is...epic beyond words, i STILL get chills at that part, whenever i go farming the phoenix mount (which is still one of the coolest mounts in the game) the fact that his mechanics made it really hard to 5 man or solo (today) until we out geared him and out leveled him by 2 expansions, shows how awesome he really was.
The rest of TK was great paced, Al'ar was a very long drawn out fight, very cool, and challenging, of course there was Lootreaver
In sense of pure awesomeness like spine tingling amazing raiding, BC is hands down my favorite, every raid, was well designed, and i spent the entire expansion raiding it, my guild was pretty good, and we didnt give up, Black Temple was also one of the most epic raids ever, Illidan wasnt as epic as Kalethas to me, but still pretty cool fight, once you got there.
Vanilla raids were ok, MC just cuz it was the first, Blackwing Lair was interesting, but mediocre, besides Nefarion (another epic fight) AQ40 was just to huge and long, i never really enjoyed it, because it would take so long, the run back was insane, the bosses at first were overtuned (the flying blade boss just raped) a boss that was unkillable without frost damage, it just wasn't interesting, even Cthun, it just felt silly.
Naxx was brutal, but never finished it, it was to damn hard, opening week i was in an "elite" guild, we went in and wiped on trash before first boss so much, we had to repair before starting attempts, and it went like that between every boss, every week, tanks were spending 1000's of gold probably every few days in repairs, was just stupid hard.
I didnt raid at start of cata, so i cant say how the initial raiding was, but from going back through it, many times even on heroic modes, it just hasnt impressed me at all, its why i didnt raid it at the time i was to busy chasing down acheivements on my hunter, leveling alts, i just didnt have a feel for raiding in cata...and DS was the worst raid ever, the last 2 fights are ONLY redeeming factor, but they got old FAST, it was pretty epic first time downing deathwing, but i had NO interest at all to keep doing it week after week...unlike bc raids i would be down for them as much as i could, cleared or not.
MOP raiding so far hasnt impressed me either, LFR has made raiding more like epic 5 man dungeons, with 25 people, you just slog through them for chance at gear, and for the valor, queue up, raid, repeat every week, its killed raiding for me, and none of the bosses were even that interesting, a few were ok the first few times, but as a dps, it just seems you show up to dps, click your buttons, and win
you rarely even wipe unless on Thunder King because he aucutally has mechanics you have to learn, all the rest (maybe the eyeball boss..he's a bitch too) are just /boring as hell, just dps for 10 min, move on...and at times so much damn trash, espeically in TOT, the 1st half is the worst
there is no epic feeling of accomplishment like in bc, when ONE boss took weeks, of many attempts per night, and downing him was aucutally worth it, the gear wasnt split up, if you got a piece of gear you were awesome, and felt awesome, there was no "oh i downed this boss but i only got 502 ilvl gear, but the best gear is 542" deal,
the gear aucutally meant something, LFR and even normal gear mean nothing, because you realize you will never have the best gear, in BC you could have the best gear in the game, if you worked at it, in MOP its gated behind bosses that require the kind of skill/determination that bc bosses did then, but the other 2 modes give you lesser gear, don't feel rewarded at all like you did in BC, for the same amount (if not more) effort
Imo blizzard should bring back BC type expansion next one, a burning legion, that would really be awesome.
It is hard to rate them after expansions as each expansion has countless patches which bring raid content.. i personally loved ulduar.. but kinda meh on the other ones.. sort of.. naxx was pretty fun though, for me atleast. Same for MoP .. yes.. this raid is awesome, but, u can't tell yet, as there are more patches to come. Cata aswell, i enjoyed all the raids except DS. BC was probably the best expansion to date, cuz all of the raids were awesome. And u can't say anything about vanilla cuz it is not an expansion .. and it was new.. it was WoW.. so comparing it to expanions that followed is kinda a bad thing to do.
So in general i guess.. BS>MoP>Cata=wotlk.. if u simply take the good and bad together.. but if id rank raids.. it would probably be completely different.
Greg “Ghostcrawler” Street is the lead systems designer of World of Warcraft. He wipes to the elevator boss.
Everyone rating BC or Vanilla as first has either the most massive rose tinted glasses put on or never actually raided hard content when it was still current. BC was a hot mess of terrible itemization and class balance (so many specs being UTTERLY useless or being brought for their specific utility alone), buggy and overtuned boss encounters (Release Gruul, release Mag, hell, all of TK and SSC), and awful grinding. Don't mistake your feelings of initial first time awe at raiding with quality. Yeah, I remember my first raid encounters fondly and with great nostalgia but I'm not deluding myself into thinking it was better then, because it was most certainly not.
This is exactly like people wishing for the good old days, when in fact the good old days were just worse.
I would be a terrible mod on this website. I'd literally go into every post that mentions Vanilla and edit it out. Vanilla is NOT an expansion ffs. Why do people always include it when expansions are mentioned? :S
Anyway, raids... I'd probably go with: MoP>WoTLK>>TBC>>>Cata.
well i didnt think we were discussing things like itemization or glitches, or bugs, as all expansions have issues, even MOP, its just they have gotten much better as they progressed. There are still bugs in TOT, like the one recently where you can fall under the floor down into Ra-Den's room, so MOP is not perfect either.
I dont have rose tinted glasses, i am saying that BC from start to finish was solid for raiding, glitches/bugs or not, the raids themselves were all epic, and felt rewarding, and the bosses were aucutally challenging, and no i am not comparing LFR to bc, obviously the heroic modes of current MOP stuff can be considered the hardest content they've ever done, but for me, at the time during bc, compared to expansions after, BC had the most challenging raiding content, if you look it up, bosses took weeks of attempts, call it lack of player skill, or quality raiders, or even issue between guilds being able to get into the raids due to attunement, but those that did clear content when it was current, truly played the challenge.
Look at bosses now in MOP, heroic mode Ra-Den, heroic raiding has become so hardcore, and guilds know what to expect, tier after tier, they wipe 100's of times, throwing themselves at fights, and sheer attrition come out on top with world firsts, no matter how "hard" a fight is, it will always be beaten quickly these days, but if you look at BC, the bosses took a bit longer to down, even by top guilds, there was no first week clears of a lot of bc raids, i think Kalethas took over a month...on just that 1 boss, so if you compare it, its equal almost to heroic mode of today.
but i still think bc raids had more challenge, but there is so many factors for that, class unbalance, itemization, attunements, lack of information, addons for everything that we have these days...that's what made BC so epic and challenging because we aucutally had to work for it, blindly, there was nothing guiding us, it was all new...there is no surprise left anymore in raiding, even heroic modes, we have dungeon journal, youtube, as soon as a boss is down, within minutes its all over the internet, we didn't have much of that in BC, it was all headlong skill into the fray, which felt a lot better than watching/reading/addons and then downing an entire raid tier in a week, only stopping at the harder bosses...we even have PTR's that have all the bosses for testing, and betas for expansions, both of which top guilds use to already know the fights well, as soon as its released its just a matter of executing the fight, like clockwork...we didn't have that in BC
Also each tier of raiding, everyone who has cleared heroic modes is farming them, so a new tier comes out, and they are already fully geared and ready, in bc you had to flip flop around different raids to get the best gear setup, to tackle the latest raid, like when sunwell came out, that was the biggest cockblock was gear, if you weren't heavy geared from Black Temple like reallly op geared (especially tanks) Sunwell wiped the floor with you, the gear disparity between raids was a bit different back then than it is now, there is way more options for gear, from many sources, in bc you were pigeonholed into specific upgrade paths, from specific raids, so at least we can be thankful for that.
I think my rating would be
TBC > WotLK > MoP > Vanilla = Cata.
I rate this on an overall scale. I think some had really good things but also really bad things. As an example I think Karazhan was the single best designed raid instance. I love the layout, the boss fights, and the mechanics. Something about climbing this magic, mysterious, haunted tower just made the place really fun to me. Bad to me in TBC was the insane amount of trash that Battle for Mt. Hyjal had, it was just way way way to much imo, especially if you wiped at some point. Yes it became very trivial eventually like all trash does but man a remember the first weeks learning it; wiping on wave 6 was just dumb to have to start back from the beginning.
WotLK had the amazing Ulduar and introduction of heroic gear. I actually think Naxx2.0 was a great place. I will concede completely that it was way to easy, but where I think the place was complete win, was how each section was its own wing, and you at any point had 4 choices of boss kills until later. If something was too hard head to another wing and work on that wing instead. My largest complaint of Throne of Thunder is its progression is too linear. I dislike that cause it can lead to guilds being stuck on beginning bosses. The bad of WotLK was the Argent Tournament Grand Crusader raid, no trash to me isn't very fun, too much is also just annoying like I stated above, to me good amount of trash is like 5-10 minutes between bosses. Also waiting 1 week for each boss was I think the single worst decisions they have ever made.
MoP has had a good amount of content, my largest complaint I think personally is how poorly balanced things are, maybe its just forgetfulness but I swear with both tiers they've just had to repeatedly nerf that, buff that more than any other xpack. Even having some fights so unbalanced in normal mode that raids had to stack to kill it (Garalon as an example).
Vanilla to me was a great at the time but I don't have nostalgia like TBC with it. Likely because too many fights where tank and spank, also they didn't really experiment with mechanics until AQ. MC was literally tank and spank + dispell bad stuff the whole way through. BWL was a lil better but the dragons in the middle were all too similar. And the bloat of 40man content was just a really bad experience, 15 members standing around afk because the tuning was so poor is a very painful memory. I never did see Naxx at this point to be fair.
Cata to me is the worst but not for boss mechanics or raid layout, to me the whole expansion was just uninspired, maybe it was too much of the story was told outside the game. But I personally felt by the start of Firelands Blizz internally was like "yeah, so xpacks a flop lets roll out the rest of the content, and salvage stuff in MoP"
Of the three expansions I've actually raided, I would say Wrath>MoP>Cata. I was actually just discussing this over the weekend with my wife, whom I took to Ulduar for the first time this weekend. Wrath raids (even Naxx, despite its shortcomings) just feel completely immersive, while other raids just don't match up to that. Obviously that doesn't include the filler raids, like ToGC, OS, EoE, etc...
Cata will always hold a special place in my heart, because I LOVED Firelands, and it was the first time I ever raided semi-seriously. Blackwing Descent was also great. Dragon Soul was pretty terrible, but it also marked the first time I healed a tier, so it was memorable to me.
MoP has been pretty great so far-at least Throne of Thunder. T14 sucked for me, because I was in a crappy guild that couldn't even clear normal modes. I changed guilds, and now I am 11/12 with a night spent on Lei Shen, and definitely one of my favorite raids ever.
You can't go into Heroic ToT without heroic T14/normal ToT gear. There, balanced.
I would rate Cata higher for Firelands and T11, but the end tier was just so awful that I can't bring myself to do it. And it may be early to say, but I'm gonna have to put ToT on top 3 favorite tiers of all time. Aesthetically, mechanically, tier designs. Everything.
The aesthetics, the trash, the mechanics all were sub par - Rag was OK, but if you were melee, oh well, enjoy another snore fest.
That said, for me:
MoP > Wrath >= Cata (wrath and cata both had terrible raids in them, but Uduar and ICC trumps T11 which was Cataclysm's only good tier imo)
Didn't raid in BC and wasn't playing in Vanilla
Wrath > BC > Vanilla > MoP > Cata
Burn me but I loved the Naxx revamp, I adored Ulduar and I truly liked the entire vibe ICC gave me. The only downside is that the ICC period took far too long, but that is not a raid quality issue. Burning Crusade, and especially Karazhan, comes close.
Vanilla is still better than MoP in my opinion. While MC was nothing special, BWL was a gem and AQ was a complete breath of fresh air. Add in the mini ZG raid and brick wall that Naxx 40 was, and I'll take that any day over the outright atrocious tier 14.
Regarding difficulty level:
BC > MoP = Classic > Cata > WotLK
Regarding raid enviroment:
MoP > BC = WotLK > Cata > Classic
Regarding boss mechanics (not difficulty):
MoP > Cata = BC = WotLK > Classic
Regarding raids included in lore:
BC = WotLK > Vanilla = MoP > Cata
Regarding Tier set design:
BC = MoP > WotLK = Cata > Vanilla
started playing in wrath but did vanilla raid as lvl 60 fun but not really fun. played on free server before wrath and i disliked the raids in bc.
reason mist is lowest is because i have not been able to solo any raids yet.
Unless Siege of Orgrimmar sucks hardcore, MoP will definatly be best expansion when it comes to raids, in my opinion. The only raid in MoP that I've disliked so far is Heart of Fear, but it's not as terrible as the worse raids that's been released in previous expansions. Now, the main reason this is my favorite expansion is because of Throne of Thunder, by far the best raid that has been released since Ulduar.
TBC comes in second mainly because of the environments of the raids, Karazhan and Black Temple looked and still looks fantastic by WoW standards, and how can you go wrong with boss fights like Illidan and Kil'Jeaden? Cata brought great stuff like tier 11 and Firelands, but Dragon Soul was just horrible and lasted for way too long. Vanilla suffers from the fact that most of the raids are badly outdated, although bosses like Ragnaros, Nefarian, C'thun and most of the bosses in Naxx still holds a special place in my heart.
Then there's Wrath, which is my least favorite expansion when it comes to raid. It probably had the worst start of any expansions to be released, with a horrible undertuned rewamp of Naxx that just couldn't carry a whole tier. Ulduar however is one of the best raids to be made, but then came my least favorite raid ever, which is ToC, and ruined all the fun. Icecrown Citadel suffered the same problem as Dragon Soul, it lasted too long, and the only boss fight I digged in there was The Lich King and Putricide.
Last edited by Hyrk Dyrk; 2013-04-22 at 01:19 PM.
Raid encounters is just getting better and better. However since wratha nd forward we are forced to do content on normal mode be4 heroic, wich kidna ruins the experience imo.
thou judging only by raidencounter mechanics id say mop->cata->wrath->tbc->vanilla.
My fav video summing up BC raid content. This is still a fantastic watch!
Last edited by minkage; 2013-04-22 at 05:04 PM.